Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Obama Transition Team Feared the CIA, NSA and Military

Andrew Kreig writes:

President-Elect Obama’s advisers feared in 2008 that authorities would “revolt” and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Obama’s top transition advisers.

University of California at Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., the sixth highest-ranking member of the 2008 post-election transition team preparing Obama’s administration, revealed the team’s thinking in moderating a forum on 9/11 held by his law school (also known as Boalt Hall)...The story arose because Susan Harman, a California resident opposed to torture, asked Edley a question Sept. 2 at his forum and mailed his comments to me, among others.

Here’s Harman’s account of her actions at the Boalt Hall forum, which focused on such goals as human rights and the rule of law:

I said I was overwhelmed by the surreality of [John]Yoo being on the[Berkeley] law faculty . . . when he was single-handedly responsible for the three worst policies of the Bush Administration...

Dean Chris Edley volunteered that he’d been party to very high level discussions during Obama’s transition about prosecuting the criminals. He said they decided against it. I asked why. Two reasons: 1) it was thought that the CIA, NSA, and military would revolt, and 2) it was thought the Repugnants would retaliate by blocking every piece of legislation they tried to move (which, of course, they’ve done anyhow).
More details at Naked Capitalism.


  1. How is that since Dems had major control of both House and Senate?

  2. it was not so much what the republicans would do, it what his own party would do to him.

  3. Too funny. Had they prosecuted Bush, Cheney, et al, wouldn't Obama now be subject to those same charges given his record? Its too bad they didn't seek charges at least. Perhaps that would have forced the current criminal in charge to do things differently. I beleive the real story here is that Obama knew that bringing charges would have severely tied his own hands in doing things that might actually be determined to be illegal later on. A scratch for a scratch seems to be the standard.

  4. Talk about changing the subject.
    Like Obama's any better than Bush.
    And like it wasn't the House REPUBLICANS who blocked the first passage of the bail-out, before caving in the second-time around to the DEMOCRATS.

    People who keep trying to make this stuff partisan deserve what they get, John Yoo included.

  5. This story is bullshit. If he was really serious about his opposition, he wouldn't have continued the same policies.

    If he had not persecuted but instead went in an opposite policy path, then you could make a case that this story is true. But not now. Not with his justice dept making the Bush era civil liberties violations worse. Not with the TSA sexually molesting people at airports. Not with increase military presence in the middle east. And definitely not with the unilateral and stupid military action in Libya.

  6. I don't buy it. Because even if he chose not to prosecute, what would stop him from at least ending the wars?

  7. Maybe because when it comes down to it he's just one guy who can make a nice speech with no real power base.
    He'd have to go all Stalin over the whole Military-industrial-intelligence-congressional complex otherwise it would be Dallas all over again.

  8. There might be more, much more actually, to that story:

    "Chatter: Obama Sought Arrest of Bush and Cheney for 9/11 Treason - JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) Threat: Obama, Biden and Family to be Killed"


  9. Again, anonymous at 5:29 am, why continue the Bush policies then? Think people.

  10. What a POS conspiracy spin by this Berkley Law Dean. Not the sort of trash I'd expect to be on this blog, but then again the libertarian loony's do like their big gov conspiracy. This tool sounds like the typical juvenile dumbbell lefty....we will have to burn these types out of their entrenchments in all US organizations.